May Skin Cancer Awareness blog banner

Don’t become another cancer statistic. Skin cancer is easily preventable and if detected early, is highly treatable. The five-year survival rate for melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is 99% if detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes.

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Rates of all skin cancers are increasing, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Our mission is to educate you, our valued patients, on minimizing risks and keeping your skin healthy.

Learn the risk factors

Regardless of age, background and skin color, anyone can get skin cancer, but people with certain conditions are at greater risk:

  • Blistering sunburns during childhood or adolescence
  • Skin burns or freckles easily
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • History of using tanning beds
  • Having numerous, atypical, and/or large moles
  • Personal or family history of skin cancer
  • Suppressed immune system

Protect your skin, stay ahead of skin cancer

The leading cause of skin cancer is excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun or artificial sources like tanning beds. Here are simple yet effective ways you can prevent skin cancer:

  • Apply a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily, even on cloudy days. Visit to view sun protectants for every need.
  • Apply one ounce (two tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 15-30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or after swimming and sweating.
  • Practice sun safety: wear a wide-brimmed hat, (UVA/UVB) sunglasses and sun-protective clothing, and seek shade from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Avoid tanning and never use tanning beds, which cause skin damage and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Early detection is key

Examine your skin monthly to become familiar with your moles and freckles. See your dermatologist if you notice a spot or mole that is new, different from others, or changes, itches or bleeds.

Get screened for skin cancer annually (more often if you are at risk) with a Total Body Skin Exam. We examine the entire surface of your skin and note issues that require monitoring or closer examination. Skin cancers occasionally resemble seemingly normal skin or benign conditions like warts, scars or pimples, so having an expert look for subtle signs brings peace of mind. Schedule your annual exam today.

View our skin cancer education playlist

As part of our mission to educate our communities about the importance of skin health, Pinnacle Dermatology providers share their expertise below on skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. All videos are only one to two minutes in length. Watch the videos, learn how to safeguard your skin, and share them with your loved ones.

Tymothi Claude, PA-C: sunscreen recommendations and application tips
Dr. Maxim Polansky: sun safety for children, including sun-protective clothing
Dr. Izzy Andrews: sun protection tips for the entire family
Kari Hegg, PA-C: annual skin exams, melanoma ABCDEs and skin cancer risks
Dr. Emily Beck: supplementing with nicotinamide to reduce skin cancer risk
Dr. Kara Brooks: non-melanoma skin cancers (signs, common locations and prevention)
Audrey Moxie, PA-C: benefits of a Total Body Skin Exam and what to expect
Dr. Maxim Polansky: treatment options for pre-cancers
Dr. Jay Smith: early detection of melanoma and treatment options